As bank acquisitions and mergers become a trend in Rwanda, Bank of Kigali, a subsidiary of BK Group, said it would not buy any local players.

With an asset base of over $ 1 billion, there was speculation the Group would buy a local lender.

The acquisition of banks has become a trend following the revision of the minimum capital requirements from the current Rwf 5 billion to Rwf 20 billion.

Bank officials say that instead of acquiring another lender, they will invest in digital services and innovation to drive financial inclusion and local market penetration.

Marc Holtzman, chairman of BK Group, said it was possible to deepen financial inclusion and bank penetration by finding ways to further digitize transactions to be more relevant in the economy. Holtzman made the remarks when addressing the group’s shareholders at an annual general meeting last week.

The bank’s chief executive, Diane Karusisi, said that in the future they plan to grow their business organically through the networks they have invested in and built in over the years.

Karusisi, however, encouraged the acquisitions, saying it was good for the development of the sector.

This includes digital financial services which, for example, allow customers to acquire loans on their phones, among other things.

The bank is currently rolling out a digital transformation roadmap to deliver new products and experiences, especially to underserved segments of the economy and key populations like youth and the unbanked.

Digital platforms and services include adoption of debit and credit cards, use of our mobile apps, online banking platforms, among other digital platforms.

The development is also expected to improve service delivery, as the financier will be able to provide services more conveniently by reducing queues at their branches.

To facilitate the process, the lender has decentralized migration services to all branches for the convenience of clients.

Digital tools have also made it easier for the bank’s customers to access credit, as customers can now get fast unsecured loans on their mobile phones.

For example, the bank launched in May 2018 ‘SingombwaKashi’, (loosely translated as ‘No need for cash’ in English) allowing customers to quickly apply for and access loans and save money. thanks to automatic / fixed savings and also to digital transactions by E-Bank online with a BK application.

The loan amount can be up to Rwf 500,000, with clients having the option of choosing a repayment period at their convenience, ranging from one to six months.

The developments are part of the bank’s digital development led by Regis Rugemanshuro, who is the bank’s Chief Digital Officer.

Experts say the decision not to acquire another lender but to invest in digital services for bank penetration is a good move because it will add value to the customer experience.

Florence Gatome, Country Senior Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers Rwanda Limited (PwC Rwanda), said the move will also mean more financial inclusion and options as well as lower transaction and service costs for clients as the bank is likely to further innovate and simplify banking services. .

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